A Quick Rundown of Mobile Marketing

By | June 19, 2012

There is no doubt that mobile marketing is hot.

New articles, press releases, case studies, and products are released every day that talk about ways that companies can reach the growing mobile audience.

I truly believe that there is an opportunity for service providers to capitalize on that trend.

In my last article, I talked a bit about the USPS Mobile Barcode Promotion. But today, I’d like to bring it up a level — and provide an overview of some of the various mobile marketing technologies that you should be aware of.

Here’s a quick and not-so-dirty version of what marketers are talking about when discussing mobile marketing:

SMS stands for Short Message Service (and it basically means texting). This is the initial concept that brought mobile marketing into being. And it’s still used today. There are a lot of positives in regards to utilizing SMS as one of your marketing tactics. It’s far-reaching (since pretty much every cell phone can receive an SMS) and is low cost.

MMS is Multimedia Message Service. Think of this as SMS on steroids. In addition to the text, the MMS tickles the audience’s senses with the addition of audio, video and images. Imagine a commercial on a little phone screen and you’ve got the idea. Of course, this type of marketing costs more than a more simple and straightforward SMS.

QR Codes are quick response barcodes and they are those funny looking squares that you can now see just about everywhere, from posters to magazine pages to product boxes. It’s a two-dimensional barcode that a user can point and click her smartphone at and be directed to an advertisement or website.

In-Game Marketing is just as it sounds. All those cool games that users can download on their phones and tablets could use a sponsor, or promotional messages can be delivered within the mobile game itself.

Mobile Web Marketing can refer to a couple different things. A person referring to mobile web marketing can mean that the website is optimized for the mobile user. A lot of websites are not mobile-friendly and by designing something with the small phone screen in mind, it can make itself much more nifty to use. It can also be referring to mobile ads – pretty similar to the pop-up type ads you run across when you cruise the internet on your computer but typically created for smartphones which have a strong internet connection.

Location-Based Marketing is terrific because it is customized content based upon the geographical location of the user using GPS technology. It takes relevant marketing to another level by delivering the “good stuff” that the user will appreciate and eliminating the advertisements that user would not find useful. Think about certain services you would use…wouldn’t you appreciate an ad for that service when it’s in your neighborhood, as opposed to the very same service that is clear across town? You may also have heard of proximity marketing or “Bluetooth Marketing” which is based upon a much shorter range of wireless technology.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is certainly an item to pay attention to. To put  it simply, it is wireless technology that allows an initiator and a target to interact within close range. How is it different from a QR Code? One of the main reasons is this — With NFC, you do not need to open up an App first to interact with the product or printed material.

Here’s a video demonstration of NFC vs. QR Codes:

Augmented Reality (AR) is a very exciting technology as well.  What is it? Here’s one definition: “It is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.”

Augmented Reality has been buzzed about in the print world for a few years, but I think that marketers are only recently starting to figure out how to use it in a way that provides true value to the end-user. Pay attention to apps such as Aurasma, Layar, and others. I have recently seen an increase in the number of print advertisements and magazine covers that are incorporating AR, to provide additional content to its audience.

As mobile technology evolves, so do the marketing methods. In the future, we will continue to see further customization of messages and encouraged interaction between the message sender (you) and the recipient (your audience).

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2 thoughts on “A Quick Rundown of Mobile Marketing

  1. Julie Shaffer

    Nice mobile marketing vocabulary rundown! At the Digital Printing Council, we’ve just launched a site called Test Drive Tools to help people find a solution partner for mobile, ecommerce, integrated marketing and social media management. Check it out at http://www.testdrivetools.com. We’re working with vendors to put links to demo accounts so users can actually “test drive” the solutions — these will roll out over the next couple of months, so check back often!

  2. John Foley Post author

    Hi Julie,
    Thanks so much for the comment. I appreciate everything that your association does to help spread awareness of new technologies and solutions to the print industry.

    Could you please do me a huge favor? Could you send some information to Jason Pinto (jasonp@interlinkONE.com) as to how we could possibly participate as a Vendor in the Test Drive site?

    Thank you,

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